The Louisiana Department of Education released English, math and science standardized test results for elementary schools throughout the state on Wednesday.

Nearly half of the 64 Orleans Parish public elementary schools recorded a higher percentage of LEAP tests at mastery level or higher than in 2015. That’s in line with statewide growth.

State schools Superintendent John White said scores generally held steady across Louisiana.

The figures are based on tests taken rather than students because most students are tested in English, math and science, but some may miss one test or another.

In 2015, the state implemented new standards for English and math and raised its benchmark of proficiency from a score of basic, the middle of five levels, to mastery, the second-highest.

The states uses the percentage of students at basic level to give each school a letter grade. In 2025, schools will be evaluated based on what percentage of students have reached mastery.

How Orleans Parish public schools fared in 2017:

  • 29 schools increased the percentage of tests at mastery and advanced, the two highest levels, since 2015. (That’s the furthest back a comparison can be made.)
  • 23 schools had a lower percentage of tests at mastery or advanced than in 2015.
  • 7 schools had the same percentage of tests at mastery or advanced as in 2015.
  • 5 schools changed operators or don’t have previous scores to compare.

Two schools saw double-digit growth in the percentage of tests at mastery or above since 2015:

  • James Singleton Charter School increased from 9 percent to 23 percent.
  • McDonogh No. 35 Academy grew from 7 percent to 18.

Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, Mary D. Coghill Charter School and ReNEW SciTech Academy recorded the largest drops:

  • Mahalia Jackson went from 28 to 16 percent of tests at mastery or above.
  • Coghill dropped from 27 to 16.
  • SciTech dropped from 27 to 18.

SciTech’s principals resigned in the spring of 2015 after ReNEW leaders discovered they had allowed students to take non-state tests multiple times. A state investigation later revealed school leaders had encouraged teachers to look at LEAP tests after testing, a violation of state test policy. State officials didn’t think cheating extended to state exams.

The two schools with the highest percentage of tests at mastery and above are both selective-admission schools:

  • Lusher Charter School: 84 percent
  • Lake Forest Elementary Charter School: 83 percent

At six schools, fewer than 10 percent of tests were at mastery or above:

  • Sylvanie Williams College Prep: 9 percent
  • McDonogh No. 32 Literacy Charter School: 7 percent
  • Milestone Academy: 7 percent
  • William J. Fischer Accelerated Academy: 6 percent
  • McDonogh No. 42 Charter School: 5 percent
  • Crescent Leadership Academy, an alternative high school: less than or equal to 1 percent

High school test results come out later this summer, and school letter grades will be released this fall.

How New Orleans schools fared

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...